Note: This review is from the 2019 Fringe

SAY Award winning singer /songwriter Kathryn Joseph returns to Edinburgh to present her multimedia music show From When I Wake. The musician has released two acclaimed albums (From When I Wake The Want Is and Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled) and this performance looks to push the live experience to a new level.

The show is partially visualised by Czech body architect Markéta Kratochvílová through the clothing that Kathryn Joseph is wearing. Kratochvílová has created a garment that immediately draws attention. When the performer enters the stage we know we are not about to witness a typical concert and are in for something special and truly unique. The set also contributes to this fantastical atmosphere and is designed by James Johnson. He has compiled a stage that makes use of mirrors and bizarre arm-like contraptions that hold objects, and most prominently, a glass of red wine. It is an interesting setup and compliments the performer who sits behind a piano and begins the show in a subtle and profound manner. The music has an icy quality that cuts straight to the soul. As soon as Joseph begins to sing, she commands the attention of the audience. She has a haunting voice that seems to linger on every syllable and draws the listener in with evocative lyrics. The songs have a brutal honesty that feels impossible not to endear to. 

Lighting also plays a major role in From When I Wake and adds to the intimacy of the performance. Throughout the show the musician is bathed in different colours that evoke the deep emotion of the songs. The colours also help convey the passing of time. During the show it is as if we experience four distinctive seasons, and Nich Smith’s lighting almost feels as important as the music.

From When I Wake has been developed with Glasgow based company Cryptic. This organisation presents work that combines visual art and music. From When I Wake is the perfect example of this. It is a highly visual show with beautiful music and one hour does not seem enough time to spend in this compelling and intriguing world.